Find Lawyers in Hannover, Germany for Mergers and Acquisitions Law
Practice Area Overview
In Germany, Mergers and Acquisitions are governed by contract law and corporate law. In addition, different types of transactions are subject to a number of regulatory requirements. Regarding listed stock corporations, the Securities Acquisition and Takeover Act implementing the EU Takeover Directive, the Stock Exchange Act, and the Offering Prospectus Act impose additional requirements. Further, transactions meeting certain thresholds require clearance by the German competition authorities. Moreover, restrictions under the Foreign Trade and Payments Act may also apply.
Many transactions in Mergers and Acquisitions must be notarised by notaries public. This is true for asset deals involving the transfer of real estate, reorganisation procedures under the Transformation Act, and the acquisition of shares in limited liability companies (Gesellschaften mit beschränkter Haftung, “GmbHs”). Notaries public are also responsible for transmitting the updated list of shareholders to the commercial register after a transaction, a necessary prerequisite for acquisition of shareholder status. Given that GmbHs are very common in Germany, notaries public play a significant role in Mergers and Acquisitions.
Lawyers are involved in the entire transaction process. First, they generally assist in drafting a confidentiality agreement and a letter of intent. What follows is a due diligence process by which lawyers analyse whether the acquisition entails any significant legal risks. In the next phase, lawyers are responsible for drafting share or asset purchase agreements, taking into account any risks identified in the due diligence exercise. They also liaise with the notaries public, take part in negotiations, supervise closing and post-closing, and are responsible for other implementation work. Beyond that, lawyers advise board members and management on legal obligations and shareholder relations in connection with the transaction.
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